Door entry systems, also referred to as access control systems, provide access to restricted areas and help to enhance security within premises. Entry systems can range from electronic keypads to biometric devices used for verification of the identities of individuals before they are given access to a building. Apart from enhancing security and access, door entry systems also simplify the management of a facility; no need to look for old keys used by terminated employees or to replace lost ones, or manually control who should access certain areas.
The purpose of a door entry system
Before we explore the types of door entry systems available, it is necessary to understand how having one may help your business or premises. Simply put, a door access system is used to lock out anyone who does not qualify to access a certain area. This system can be installed on the front door, parking garage, the records room and any sensitive areas within a building.
A basic system uses a keypad or swipe, but there are applications that offer higher security that request multiple authentications (for example the combination of a card and thumbprint). When choosing a system, you may need to consider the level of redundancy you may deem fit for your type of business. This takes us further to discuss the technologies available and how each works.
Types of door access control systems:
1. Stand-alone locks
Stand-alone locks are installed to control access on a single door. The lock’s operation is aided by internal replaceable batteries and can be unlocked using a keypad, a card or both. The benefit of stand-alone locks is the fact it can be operational in minutes after installation. Some versions come with hand-held readers that can extract an audit trail from the door’s lock. However, this type of locks cannot be used in a broader network.
2. Proximity readers
This is the most common option in commercial door entry systems. The system is easy-to-use and in the event a user loses the card, making a replacement is easy. One can also deactivate the card easily and issue a new one. Additional verification methods like the use of photo IDs may also be included in this technology.
Most proximity cards produced recently can work from a distance of one inch to three feet from the sensor, meaning no contact is needed between the card and the reader for the system to grant access. Another reason apart from the technology why these readers are common is the fact they are slightly cheaper than other systems and are easy to manage and control.
3. Biometric systems
Biometric systems use the physical characteristics (example: retinal scans, handprints or fingerprints) of users to identify them. By far, biometric systems are the most secure access control methods. However, they are costlier than other methods mentioned earlier and can appear invasive to people who are forced to use them frequently. Additionally, they are suited to places that do not experience high flow of human traffic.